'We love Telford!' Town bites back at gipsies and pickpockets train remark

The people of Telford today declared: "We love our town!". It comes after an announcement on a train arriving at Telford Central in which passengers were told they should "beware of gipsies and pickpockets".

'We love Telford!' Town bites back at gipsies and pickpockets train remark

Train operator London Midland is looking into the conduct of a member of staff after the


The announcement as the train between Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury arrived at Telford led to cheers and laughter from Shrewsbury fans on board.

But it appalled those who were preparing to disembark and head off to their homes in the town.

The slur was revealed on ShropshireStar.com yesterday - leading to a lively debate on the website, Facebook and Twitter.

London Midland today said it would not comment further while an investigation into the announcement was underway but the Gipsy Council has called for the matter to be taken up with the police.

The story was top of the most read list on Shropshirestar.com, with scores of comments from disgruntled Telford residents, who overwhelmingly defended the honour of their town.

Lucy Allan wrote: "I moved to Telford over a year ago. People are kind, friendly and welcoming; it has a great quality of life. I like it and I'm having fun in so many different ways.

"I resent the way those who don't know the town, and don't know the people, have pre conceptions and prejudices about it.

"When I first moved here, a 'nice' lady from Shrewsbury said to me in shocked tones: 'But you are not really going to live in Telford are you?' I was offended at the time - now that I feel like I belong here, I think that lady had narrow minded view of the world - a bit like the train guard."

Robin Git commented: "Oh dear me. I thinks the announcer might be in the mire. To be honest ,why make such a crass comment?

"To blanket stereotype the population of Shropshire's second town seems harsh."

Josephine Papadopoulou added: "It may be that there are a lot of criminals in Telford, however other places aren't exactly full of glowing halos. Train staff have no rights making such prejudiced statements."

But others saw the funny side, like Tora who wrote: "I chose to move to Telford eight years ago after meeting my lovely husband. Like all places, I've found there's good and bad. Overall I'm happy here. I'm also a Shrewsbury Town fan and I went to the match on Saturday. I didn't travel by train, but if I had this comment would have made me laugh. I think perhaps some people have suffered a sense of humour failure."

Jampton Hugh joined in on the joke by writing: "I've lived in Telford for 25 years and only had my car stolen once. Not bad considering. People need to stop feeling offended. The comments were pretty fair. I hope that for balance he was fair on the return trip."

Chri Downes commented: "I was on this train and it was hilarious, it lightened the mood and tension! Several passengers said they wanted to meet the announcer and say thanks for the giggle! But political correctness will see him sacked or warned."

And Matt Joe Irvine wrote: "It does sound pretty funny and it should be taken as a joke. Why do people have to be so offended? I was born and raised in Telford but escaped to Shropshire."

Twelve reasons to love Telford:

What's not to like about Telford? It has a growing economy, great entertaniment and shopping and is surrounding by beautiful countryside and historic attractions.

Here are a few reasons to be proud of our town:

  • The £250 million Southwater development is set to transform the town centre into an 18-hour shopping and leisure centre

  • Ironbridge is the birthplace of the industrial revolution attracting tourists from across the globe

  • Dawley is home to Captain Webb the first man to swim the channel and of course the much-loved Dawley dialect

  • The Wrekin is a picturesque hill which dominates the Telford skyline and is soon to be the destination for an attempt by community project Hands Around the Wrekin to break the world Hokey Cokey record

  • Telford Town Park is bursting with fun with its adventure golf and aerial ropes courses, water play area, children’s parks and sensory garden

  • Telford has an enormous sense of community spirit demonstrated when strangers came together to search for teenager Georgia Williams and their ongoing support of the trust to continue her fun-loving legacy

  • Telford is home to T-Live, the summer music festival that last year saw thousands rocking out to McFly, Loveable Rogues, Luminites and Stooshe and will this year star Union J, Lawson, Rick Astley, Go West and ABC

  • The town’s football team AFC Telford - let’s get behind them as they chase promotion!

  • An ambitious bid is being made for Donnington to become one of the most important Ministry of Defence sites in the UK

  • Telford has been the home to many sporting heroes including boxer Richie Woodhall, paralympic athelete Mickey Bushell, archer Alison Williamson, dart player Ted Hankey and footballer Billy Wright

  • Telford has also been home to band members of indie rock band Sunshine Underground and 80s chart toppers T’Pau

  • Ketley is home to the head office of the Shropshire Star

  • Why do you love Telford? What have we missed off? Have your say in the comment box below.

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